Carla Bruni sues over nude image

The French First Lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, has started a legal action against a clothing company which has produced a shopping bag carrying an image of her posing naked. Mme Bruni-Sarkozy is demanding a ban on sales of the bag and €125,000 (£110,000) in damages that will be given to charity, her lawyers say. The bag is produced by Pardon!, a clothing chain based in Réunion, an island in the Indian Ocean which is an overseas département of France. The bag shows a nude image of the First Lady that was taken in 1993, accompanied by a speech bubble reading, "My bloke should've bought me clothes from Pardon". It can be bought for €3 or is free with a purchase over €5. "This bag is an attack on Mme Bruni-Sarkozy's image without her consent and [is produced] purely for commercial reasons," her lawyer, Maître Iqbal Akhoun, said yesterday. But the clothing company defended their use of the Michel Comte photo, saying Mme Bruni-Sarkozy was "a woman in the public eye". The case will be examined on Monday.